Spots Solidified in East Meets Midwest Drivers’ Challenge

John Campbell

John Campbell

Ten of the best drivers in the sport of harness racing will take to the track at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino for the inaugural $20,000 East Meets Midwest Drivers’ Challenge on Friday, August 8. The first of its kind at Hoosier Park, the challenge will pit the top-five drivers, based upon wins, at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino, against five of the top drivers from the East in a three-race challenge with the winning team going home with their share of the $20,000 prize.
Harness racings’ all time leading money winning driver and Hall of Famer, John Campbell returns to Indiana and will headline “Team East”. Campbell far exceeds any driver when it comes to purse earnings with over $287 million in the bike and victories in nearly every major stake to date. He is a member of both the Canadian and United States Hall of Fame and is one of only 10 drivers in North America with more than 10,000 career wins.
Campbell will be joined by the nation’s current leading dash-winning driver, Aaron Merriman who leads North America in wins with 464 victories to date. Also included on the stellar cast of entrants for “Team East” are Ron Pierce, Corey Callahan, and Tyler Buter.

Hoosier Park’s leading driver Trace Tetrick will lead “Team Midwest” after he secured his number one position with 170 victories. “Team Midwest” will also include Tyler Smith, Sam Widger, Peter Wrenn and Ricky Macomber Jr.

“This is going to be a lot of fun,” driver Peter Wrenn said of the challenge. “They are going to be tough to beat that is for sure, but it’s going to be a great night of racing the entire night. I know we are all looking forward to it.”

Each team will have five participants in three consecutive races of the challenge and will be awarded points based upon their placings. At the conclusion of the final race of the challenge, race nine, the points will be tallied and one team will be crowned the winner.

The East Meets Midwest Drivers’ Challenge will compliment one of the most highly anticipated days on the harness racing card at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino with the 21st edition of the $250,000 Dan Patch Invitational slated as the twelfth race of the evening with a post time of 9:30 p.m.

Racing fans will also have the opportunity to participate in a special wager offered for the East Meets Midwest Drivers’ Challenge with a $10,000 Guaranteed Pick-3 Pool. The wager will offer a minimum bet of 50 cents, and is available through the cooperative efforts of the United States Trotting Association, Hoosier Park Racing & Casino, and the Indiana Standardbred Association.

All of the drivers competing in the East Meets Midwest challenge will kick-off the evening with an autograph session near Hoosier Park’s winner circle beginning at 4 p.m.

In what is being called the “Dan Patch Festival Weekend”, Hoosier Park will showcase some of the most notable names in harness racing alongside special wagers, a fireworks display, giveaways, and interactive family-friendly entertainment. Also, highlighting the weekend will be a concert by the Grammy-award winning group, Little Big Town on Saturday, August 9 as part of Hoosier Park’s summer concert series line-up.

Field Established for 2014 Dan Patch Invitational

danpatchA field of nine will be sent post-ward in the $250,000 Dan Patch Invitational at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Friday, August 8. In what may be the most accomplished field ever assembled, the 21st installment of Hoosier Park’s signature event will highlight the 14-race program that begins at 5:15 p.m.

The race will be part of a special weekend tagged as “Dan Patch Festival Weekend” and will feature extreme entertainment, giveaways, and racing. The evening will also be complimented by Indiana Sires Stakes finals, sending the purse money to be distributed throughout the evening over the $500,000 mark.

The 2014 Dan Patch field boasts combined career purse earnings over $10 million and includes four millionaires, three previous Dan Patch winning drivers, two Hall of Fame drivers, and one Hall of Fame trainer. Bettor’s Edge, Heston Blue Chip, Sweet Lou, and Thinking Out Loud will make their way to Indiana boasting career earnings over the $1 million mark. Ricky Macomber Jr., who visited the Dan Patch winner’s circle in 2000 and 2002, will drive Bettor’s Edge from post seven while Peter Wrenn, who won the 2012 installment of the Dan Patch, will start from post three behind Night Pro.

Hall of Fame driver Ron Pierce, who was victorious in the 2005 Dan Patch Invitational with Maltese Artist, has been enlisted to drive the 4-5 morning line favorite, Sweet Lou from post five for North America’s leading money-winning trainer, Ron Burke. With over $2.9 million in career earnings, the five-year-old horse is the richest horse in the field and is currently riding an eight race win streak, most recently victorious in 1:47.2 in the US Pacing Championship at the Meadowlands.

Harness racings’ all time leading money winning driver and Hall of Famer, John Campbell, will make his way to Hoosier Park to compete in his second Dan Patch Invitational and has been enlisted to drive Thinking Out Loud for Hall of Fame trainer, Robert McIntosh from post two. Throughout his career, Thinking Out Loud has amassed more than $1.5 million with a record of 44-14-7-10.

Also joining the stellar cast of entrants as a main contender for the 2014 Dan Patch title is State Treasurer, with Jody Jamieson at the lines from post eight. The Dr. Ian Moore trainee has been tabbed as the 4-1 morning line second choice. A winner of over $750,000 lifetime, the five-year-old horse recently set a 1:48.1 Canadian seasons record at Mohawk and is the 2014 Molson Pace Champion.

Night Pro will play the role of local favorite from three for trainer Dale Decker. Night Pro, a former Indiana Sires Stakes champion, enters Saturday’s race after posting seven consecutive wins in the Invitational pace at Hoosier Park. The four-year-old gelding has won 22 of 30 career starts and has amassed over $350,000 in career earnings.

The 2014 Dan Patch field, in post-position order with named driver and trainer includes:
1. Dancin Yankee Tr: Amber Buter Dr: Tyler Buter 8-1
2. Thinking Out Loud Tr: Robert McIntosh Dr: John Campbell 6-1
3. Night Pro Tr: Dale Decker Dr: Peter Wrenn 20-1
4. Carol’s Comet Tr: Ron Potter Dr: Aaron Merriman 15-1
5. Sweet Lou Tr: Ron Burke Dr: Ron Pierce 4-5
6. Heston Blue Chip Tr: Linda Toscano Dr: Corey Callahan 15-1
7. Bettor’s Edge Tr: Ron Burke Dr: Ricky Macomber Jr. 10-1
8. State Treasurer Tr: Ian Moore Dr: Jody Jamieson 4-1
9. Our Lucky Chip Tr: Jason Miller Dr: Trace Tetrick 30-1

Racing fans will have the opportunity to participate in two special wagers offered for the Dan Patch Invitational card. A $25,000 Guaranteed Dan Patch Superfecta pool will be available as part of the Strategic Wagering Program. The wager will have a minimum bet of 10 cents and is available through the cooperative efforts of the United States Trotting Association, Hoosier Park Racing & Casino and the Indiana Standardbred Association. Slated as the twelfth race on the card, estimated post time for Hoosier Park’s signature event is 9:30 p.m.

A $10,000 Guaranteed Pick-3 will also be made available to racing fans in races seven through nine as part of the East Meets Midwest Drivers’ Challenge. The East Meets Midwest Drivers’ Challenge will pit the top-five drivers at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino against five of the top drivers from the East in a three-race challenge with the winning team going home with their share of the $20,000 prize. The top five drivers from Hoosier Park will make-up “Team Midwest” with the top five drivers from the East driving for “Team East”.

In what is being called the “Dan Patch Festival Weekend”, Hoosier Park will showcase some of the most notable names in harness racing alongside special wagers, free fireworks, giveaways, and interactive family-friendly entertainment. Also, highlighting the weekend will be a concert by the Grammy-award winning group, Little Big Town on Saturday, August 9 as part of Hoosier Park’s summer concert series line-up.

Hoosier Park Hosts East Meets Midwest Drivers’ Challenge

The best in the sport of harness racing will once again take to the racetrack at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Friday, August 8. However, for the first time, not only will some of the best horses in the country go to post in the $250,000 Dan Patch Invitational but the best drivers will be in the spotlight in the inaugural $20,000 East Meets Midwest Drivers’ Challenge.

The East Meets Midwest Drivers’ Challenge will pit the top-five drivers at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino against five of the top drivers from the East in a three-race challenge with the winning team going home with their share of the $20,000 prize. The top five drivers from Hoosier Park will make-up “Team Midwest” with the top five drivers from the East driving for “Team East”.

Each team will have five participants in three consecutive races of the challenge and will be awarded points based upon their placings. At the conclusion of the third race of the challenge, the points will be tallied and one team will be crowned the winner.

Scott Peine, Hoosier Park’s racing secretary, has inherited the responsibility of recruiting the best drivers to compete in the inaugural edition of the event.
The East Meets Midwest Drivers’ Challenge will compliment one of the most highly anticipated days on the harness racing card at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino with the 21st edition of the $250,000 Dan Patch Invitational.

All of the drivers competing in the East Meets Midwest challenge will kick off the evening with an autograph session near Hoosier Park’s winner circle beginning at 4 p.m. Hoosier Park will provide fans with a commemorative poster featuring the drivers of the challenge while supplies last.

Racing fans will also have the opportunity to participate in a special wager offered for the East Meets Midwest Drivers’ Challenge with a $10,000 Guaranteed Pick-3 Pool. The wager will offer a minimum bet of 50 cents, and is available through the cooperative efforts of the United States Trotting Association, Hoosier Park Racing & Casino, and the Indiana Standardbred Association

In what is being called the “Dan Patch Festival Weekend”, Hoosier Park will showcase some of the most notable names in harness racing alongside special wagers, free fireworks, giveaways, and interactive family-friendly entertainment. Also, highlighting the weekend will be a concert by the Grammy-award winning group, Little Big Town on Saturday, August 9 as part of Hoosier Park’s summer concert series line-up.

About Hoosier Park Racing & Casino: Hoosier Park Racing & Casino was recently ranked as the Indianapolis Area’s Most Popular Attraction for the fourth year in a row by the Indianapolis Business Journal and holds multiple awards from industry publications for customer service, entertainment, gaming and dining. Hoosier Park Racing & Casino, a fully integrated gaming and racing facility, features 2,000 of the latest slots and electronic table games and a 7/8 mile oval horse track offering live harness racing each year. Simulcast wagering is offered year-round at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino, the Winner’s Circle Pub, Grille & OTB in Indianapolis and two off-track betting facilities located in Fort Wayne and Merrillville, Ind. For more information, please visit www.hoosierpark.com.

Hoosier Park and HRTV Partner for Dan Patch

Hoosier Park Racing & Casino is proud to announce a renewed partnership with HRTV, The Network for Horse Sports, to provide exclusive coverage for the $250,000 Dan Patch Invitational at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Friday, August 8.

Now in its’ 21st edition, the Dan Patch Invitational pace sets the stage for the top rated pacers in North America to convene on Hoosier Park’s seven-eighths mile oval seeking a lucrative $250,000 purse and a spot in Hoosier Park’s history.

HRTV will be on property throughout the weekend to provide racing fans with exclusive coverage of all the festivities happening on and off the race track. Racing fans can also catch exclusive interviews on the HRTV programming from drivers and trainers racing at Hoosier Park.

HRTV’s national on-air host, Peter Lurie, will return to Hoosier Park for the fifth consecutive year to cover another Hoosier Park signature event. For the last four years Lurie has not only covered the Dan Patch Invitational at Hoosier Park but also the Indiana Derby at Indiana Downs. Lurie will provide commentary and handicapping throughout the Friday program alongside Hoosier Park’s Racing Commentator, Emily Gaskin.

Hoosier Park’s signature harness racing event has become a tradition that is close to the hearts of Hoosiers. The Dan Patch, an invitational race, not only highlights some of the best athletes in the sport of harness racing, but is deeply rooted throughout Indiana soil.

Hoosier Park’s headline event is part of a special weekend tagged “Dan Patch Festival Weekend”. The entire weekend will be filled with extreme racing, extreme entertainment, extreme wagers, giveaways and fun throughout the Hoosier Park property.

The ‘extreme’ theme will take center stage on the track as ten of North America’s fastest Standardbreds go to post for the Dan Patch Invitational, slated as the twelfth race on the program with an estimated post time of 9:30 p.m.

In what may be the most competitive field ever assembled, the 21st installment of Hoosier Park’s featured event will highlight the 14-race program that will boast lofty purses. The 2014 installment has no shortage of talent as racing fans can expect to see not only the sport’s top rated older pacers but the best drivers in the sport of harness racing.

The weekend will also be complimented by The East Meets Midwest Drivers’ Challenge which will pit the top-five drivers at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino, against five of the top drivers from the East in a three-race challenge with the winning team going home with their share of the $20,000 prize. The top five drivers from Hoosier Park will make-up “Team Midwest” with the top five drivers from the East making up “Team East”.

Racing fans will have the opportunity to participate in two special wagers offered exclusively for the Dan Patch Festival weekend. A $25,000 Guaranteed Dan Patch Superfecta pool will be available as part of a special Strategic Wagering Program introduced through the United States Trotting Association. The wager will have a minimum bet of 10 cents, and is available through the cooperative efforts of the United States Trotting Association, Hoosier Park Racing & Casino and the Indiana Standardbred Association.

A $10,000 Guaranteed Pick-3 pool will also be available to racing fans for the three races of the East Meets Midwest Drivers’ Challenge. The Pick-3, which offers a 50-cent minimum wager, will begin in the seventh race and will continue through the ninth race. Post time for the first race on the 14 race card is 5:15 p.m.

About Hoosier Park Racing & Casino: Hoosier Park Racing & Casino was recently ranked as the Indianapolis Area’s Most Popular Attraction for the fourth year in a row by the Indianapolis Business Journal and holds multiple awards from industry publications for customer service, entertainment, gaming and dining. Hoosier Park Racing & Casino, a fully integrated gaming and racing facility, features 2,000 of the latest slots and electronic table games and a 7/8 mile oval horse track offering live harness racing each year. Simulcast wagering is offered year-round at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino, the Winner’s Circle Pub, Grille & OTB in Indianapolis and two off-track betting facilities located in Fort Wayne and Merrillville, Ind. For more information, please visit www.hoosierpark.com.

Hoosier Park Unveils New Horsemen’s Lounge

GRAND OPENNING HOPRSEMAN LOUNGE 7-29In the midst of their 21st season of live harness racing, Hoosier Park Racing & Casino proudly unveiled a new, state-of-the art horsemen’s lounge on Tuesday, July 29.

The 3,600-square-foot facility is located on Hoosier Park’s backside, directly across from the race paddock, and will serve many different purposes for horsemen racing at Hoosier Park. Development of the new facility began in the spring of 2014 and was completed just in time for Hoosier Park’s signature event, the $250,000 Dan Patch Invitational, on Friday, August 8.

Half of the facility has been made accessible to any licensed Indiana Horse Racing Commission (IHRC) member and will provide numerous amenities including computer work stations, restrooms, flat screen televisions, a lounge area, and wi-fi access. The one-story structure also houses two offices for the Indiana Standardbred Association representatives.

The remaining half of the facility will serve as a locker room and lounge for the full-time drivers at Hoosier Park. Featuring both a men and women’s locker room, this section of the facility features individual lockers, showers, washing machines and a lounge area equipped with flat screen televisions.

“It’s second to none,” driver Trent Stohler noted after a tour of the building. “I don’t think we could have designed it better ourselves and I think I speak for everyone on the backside when I say we really appreciate what Hoosier Park has done with this.”

The doors of the building were officially opened at a lunch ceremony on Hoosier Park’s backside attended by both Hoosier Park team members and horsemen. Rick Moore, Hoosier Park’s Vice President and General Manager of Racing, led the ceremony and welcomed guests to tour the new facility.

“The opening of this facility not only signifies our commitment to all the people that make Hoosier Park a great place to race but Hoosier Park’s commitment to racing in the state of Indiana,” Moore noted. “This lounge is a place for everyone racing at Hoosier Park to call their own and a place we are proud of. I’d like to thank everyone who helped make this facility possible.”

The horsemen’s lounge will be maintained by Hoosier Park employees and available to horsemen during the live racing schedule.

Live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule. With a daily post time of 5:15 p.m., the 160-day meet will offer an extended stakes schedule be conducted through November 15.

About Hoosier Park Racing & Casino: Hoosier Park Racing & Casino was recently ranked as the Indianapolis Area’s Most Popular Attraction for the fourth year in a row by the Indianapolis Business Journal and holds multiple awards from industry publications for customer service, entertainment, gaming and dining. Hoosier Park Racing & Casino, a fully integrated gaming and racing facility, features 2,000 of the latest slots and electronic table games and a 7/8 mile oval horse track offering live harness racing each year. Simulcast wagering is offered year-round at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino, the Winner’s Circle Pub, Grille & OTB in Indianapolis and two off-track betting facilities located in Fort Wayne and Merrillville, Ind. For more information, please visit www.hoosierpark.com.

Hoosier Park Preparing for 2014 Dan Patch Invitational

One of the most highly anticipated days on the harness racing card at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will take place on Friday, August 8 as the best in the sport of harness racing will descend upon the seven-eighths mile oval for the 21st edition of the $250,000 Dan Patch Invitational. As part of a weekend long festival of entertainment and racing, ten of the top rated pacers in North America will take center stage as they go to post seeking glory in Hoosier Park’s signature harness racing event.

Hoosier Park’s most prestigious pacing race has become a tradition that is close to the hearts of Hoosiers. The Dan Patch, an invitational race, not only highlights some of the best athletes in the sport of harness racing, but is deeply rooted throughout Indiana soil. 

Hoosier Park’s event is named after the early 1900s racehorse phenomenon, Dan Patch. Originally from Oxford, Ind., Dan Patch raced the clock rather than his inferior competitors. Drawing crowds of over 90,000 people at a single race, the free-legged equine hero was the unparalleled sports icon of his time.

The Dan Patch race was established at Hoosier Park in 1994 with Ready To Rumble and driver Trevor Ritchie winning the inaugural edition 20 years ago. The list of all-star horses that have made their way to Hoosier Park over the years includes Jenna’s Beach Boy, Maltese Artist and former seven-eighths mile world record holder, the late Pacific Fella.

Scott Peine, Hoosier Park’s racing secretary, inherits the responsibility of recruiting the best horses to compete in the event every year. Peine begins making his list of potential contenders for one of the ten coveted invitations to the Dan Patch many weeks in advance.

“We are looking at what may be the most competitive field to date in the 2014 edition of our signature race,” Peine noted. “We haven’t officially decided, but the horses we are looking to invite are evenly matched and that makes for great racing. There is an outstanding group of older pacers racing all over the country right now and we are looking forward to bringing them to Hoosier Park.”

Post positions for the 2014 edition of the Dan Patch will be drawn at a community luncheon held at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Tuesday, August 5.
This year delivers a new and exciting aspect as the winner of the 2014 Dan Patch Invitational will get an automatic nomination to the 2014 edition of the Hoosier Park Pacing Derby slated for Friday, October 31 at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. All nomination fees will be waived but in the event the winner of the Dan Patch Invitational has already been nominated to the Hoosier Park Pacing Derby, a refund of all fees will be given upon declaration.

The Dan Patch Invitational will be part of a special weekend tagged as the “Dan Patch Festival Weekend” and will feature extreme entertainment, giveaways, and racing. The thrill-themed weekend will showcase some of the most notable names in harness racing alongside free fireworks, giveaways, and interactive family-friendly entertainment. Also, highlighting the weekend will by a concert by Little Big Town on Saturday, August 9 as Hoosier Park continues their summer concert series line-up.

 

Im The Real Lady Rules Freshman Filly Final

Im The Real Lady pulling out a victory!

Im The Real Lady pulling out a victory!

While she may have played the bridesmaid in her first start against stakes company, Im The Real Lady found the winner’s circle when it mattered most as she shined in the featured event, the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Final for two-year-old pacing fillies, at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Friday, July 25. With driver Peter Wrenn at the lines, Im The Real Lady was able to overcome a tough, first-over trip to score the second win of her career in a lifetime best performance of 1:54.3.

Leaving from the coveted rail position, Im The Real Lady was eased off the gate to settle along the rail in fifth while the rest of the field sorted out early positions. Trace Tetrick had Flight Cancelled dialed in as he sent her to the front through an opening panel in :28.4. Shady Linds and Ed Hensley were well placed in the pocket while Aristobrat Hanover and Tyler Smith found good, early position third along the rail from post nine.

Flight Cancelled dictated fractions of :58.1 and 1:26.4 before ever feeling pressure from the rest of the field. Unable to wait any longer, Wrenn gave Im The Real Lady the green light heading into the final turn and they began their long first-over journey to the front with Ashok Ace and LeWayne Miller in tow.  The field began to tighten as they rounded the final turn and it was a cavalry charge to the wire.

With the even money favorite Feetonthedashboard and Dale Hiteman making a costly break around the final  turn, the race appeared to be wide open. Im The Real Lady had reached the leader’s wheel half-way down the stretch and dug in gamely to put a nose in front at the wire. Flight Cancelled held on for the second place honors while Aristobrat Hanover took advantage of a ground saving trip to round out the trifecta. Sent off at odds of 4-1, Im The Real Lady returned $10.00 at the betting window.

“The trip wasn’t perfect but she was on her game tonight,” Wrenn noted after the win. “She’s a pretty handy little filly that is just starting to learn how to race and come into her own.”

Trained and Owned by Perry Smith, the daughter of Real Desire-Hysterical Lady has now won two of three career starts while amassing $47,100 in career earnings. Im The Real Lady won her career debut at Hoosier Park and followed that performance up with a second place finish in her elimination round of the Indiana Sires Stakes action last week.

 

Cullipher’s Freshman Colts Sweep in Indiana Sires Stakes

Toni's Affection pulled out a great win!

Toni’s Affection pulled out a great win!

Freshman pacing colts were in the spotlight at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Thursday, July 24 in the second round of Indiana Sires Stakes action but the night belonged to trainer Jeff Cullipher and driver Sam Widger.

The Cullipher-Widger duo teamed up to score in the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Final for two-year-old pacing colts with Toni’s Affection in 1:51.4 and then just a few races later in the $25,000 consolation for two-year-old pacing colts with Ima Full Time Job in 1:52.3. Cullipher sent out three of the ten entries in the $75,000 final from his stable and in the end it was Toni’s Affection prevailing in a hard fought battle to the wire. Stablemates Harfo Hanover and Mr. Julian finished second and fifth, respectively.

Leaving from post two, Widger sent Toni’s Affection away from the gate just enough to secure an early position along the rail in second. Camturo Rock and Dave Magee would get the first call through the opening panel in :26.3 but quickly yielded the lead to the post time favorite, Freaky Feet Pete and Trace Tetrick.

Freaky Feet Pete carved out fractions of :55 and 1:23.3 before feeling a threat by Skyway Dante and Peter Wrenn who were on the attack first-over. As the field turned for home, Freaky Feet Pete began to labor on the front with the rest of the field closing in. Camturo Rock surged from the pocket to take a short lead but was unable to hold off the hard charging Toni’s Affection.

Toni’s Affection utilized a :27.4 final quarter to win by a head in a lifetime best effort. Camturo Rocked finished second but was placed third after a judge’s disqualification in the stretch leaving Harfo Hanover and Tyler Smith to inherit the second place honors. Slightly dismissed at the betting window, Toni’s Affection returned $18.40 to his backers.

“This is the toughest group of Indiana-bred two-year-old pacing colts that I’ve ever seen,” Cullipher noted after the victory. “I’ve always had faith in this colt though, he has been the perfect horse to train all winter and I had a lot of confidence in him tonight.”

“This is just amazing,” he continued. “His namesake was here tonight and everything worked out for us. He is a nice, nice colt.”

Toni’s Affection was a $19,000 Harrisburg Yearling Sale purchase and was later re-named after co-owner David Lewis Linker’s wife. Linker co-owns the son of Always A Virgin-Yankee Affection with Thomas Pollack.  Toni’s Affection has now amassed $71,250 from four lifetime starts for his connections.

Pollack and Linker would find the winner’s circle once more with the Cullipher-Widger duo this time in the $25,000 Indiana Sires Stakes consolation for two-year-old pacing colts with Ima Full Time Job in 1:52.3 who is owned in tandem by the partnership of Randall Bendis, David Linker and Thomas Pollack.

In much the same fashion, Widger had Ima Full Time Job forwardly place through hot opening fractions of :26.1 and :55.1 set by the heavily favored Kelly D and Trace Tetrick.

When the field hit the three quarter mark in 1:24.4, Kelly D was clinging to the lead while the rest of the field closed in. Widger was able to find the late racing room he needed in the stretch and Ima Full Time Job did the rest.

Using a :27.3 final quarter, Ima Full Time Job coasted home a winner to finish a length in front of Rockin Jimmy and LeWayne Miller. Much like his stablemate a few races earlier, Ima Full Time Job was slightly dismissed at the betting window and returned $17.20 for the win.

“This colt may be the sleeper,” Cullipher noted after the race. “He’s had some bad racing luck with post positions and trips earlier in the season but take nothing away from him, he’s a nice colt.”

It was a maiden breaking victory for the son of I Scoot Hanover-Mother Alberta in just his fourth career start. The freshman colt has now earned $50,350 for his connections.

Special JJ Remains Flawless in Indiana Stakes Action

SPECIAL JJ Special JJ kept her flawless freshman record intact using a perfectly timed rally late in the stretch to score in the featured attraction, the $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Final for two-year-old trotting fillies, at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Wednesday, July 23. With a final time of 1:57, it was a lifetime best performance and third victory of the season for Special JJ.

Leaving from post two in the field of ten, Special JJ and driver Trent Stohler were away a worrisome seventh while the heavily favored Crunchess Finale and Darrell Wright made their customary move to the front. Crunchess Finale made an uncharacteristic break through the opening panel in :27.2 leaving Diamond Dagger and Thomas Russell to inherit the lead. Peter Wrenn sent Sloane Elise to the front through the half-mile time in :58.2 but would quickly yield the top spot to Churita and Trace Tetrick.

Churita continued to call the shots as the field approached the final turn but was feeling pressure from Golden Big Stick and Brad Hanners on the outside. As the field hit the third station in 1:28.1, the top pair was stride for stride turning for home.

Churita was able to put away Golden Big Stick halfway down the stretch but her biggest threat was still behind her. Just as Stohler found late racing room, Special JJ found another gear. Using a :28 final panel, Special JJ powered home to get the win by a head. Churita made a costly break just before the wire and was placed third leaving Golden Big Stick to inherit the second place honors. Slightly dismissed by the betting public at 5-1, Special JJ returned $13.60 at the betting window.

“She’s done everything we’ve asked of her so far,” Stohler noted after the victory. “We’ve taken our time getting her ready. She’s still learning and figuring things out but does know how to win.”

Trained by Trent Stohler, who also co-owns the filly with The Kales Company, Special JJ now sports a lifetime bankroll of $52,100 for her connections. The daughter of Jailhouse Jesse-Rhonda T was also victorious in the $20,000 Indiana Sires Stakes elimination just last week at Hoosier Park.

With the win, Special JJ also earned points for the $200,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Super Finals slated for October 18 at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. The Indiana Sires Stakes program will culminate with the top ten point earners from the previous $75,000 finals in each division returning to compete in the super finals.

Indiana Sires Stakes action returns to Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Thursday, July 24 with the second of five $75,000 finals for the two-year-old pacing colt division. With a daily post time of 5:15 p.m., live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule.

Airman Batten Rebounds in Indiana Sires Stakes Final

Airman Batten and LeWayne Miller make a great rebound in the finals!

Airman Batten and LeWayne Miller make a great rebound in the finals!

Freshman trotting colts were the featured attraction at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino in the second round of $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes finals on Tuesday, July 22. After a costly break in the first $75,000 Indiana Sires Stakes final at Hoosier Park, Airman Batten and LeWayne Miller rebounded nicely to score in 1:57 and make a clean sweep of the second round of the stakes action. Last week, Airman Batten made quick work of his $20,000 elimination to score in 2:00.3 and secure his spot in the $75,000 final.

In a field ruled by miscues, Airman Batten was eased off the gate this week from post six to settle along the rail in fifth while the field sorted out early positions. Summit City Nate and Sam Widger were the quickest off the gate and dictated early fractions of :27.4 and :58.3. Victory Blitz and Andy Shetler were well placed in the pocket while Homicide Hunter and John DeLong followed intently in third.

Summit City Nate continued to call the shots down the backside but yielded the lead to Homicide Hunter at third station in 1:28.1. With most of the field breaking stride, it was a four horse race to the finish with Homicide Hunter leading the charge.

Using a :28.2 final quarter, Airman Batten saved his best for last as he staged a big rally late in the lane to wear down the tiring leader. Homicide Hunter trotted evenly to finish second while Summit City Nate held on gamely to round out the trifecta. As the 6-5 favorite, Airman Batten returned $4.60 to his backers at the window.

Trained by Erv Miller, the son of Swan For All-Ladylike Volo has now won three of four career starts. Airman Batten set a lifetime record with the 1:57 score and has now amassed $66,500 for his connections of Paymaq Racing, Harvey Eisman, and Greg Gillis.

With the win, Airman Batten also earned points for the $200,000 Indiana Sires Stakes Super Finals slated for October 18 at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino. The Indiana Sires Stakes program will culminate with the top ten point earners from the previous $75,000 finals in each division returning to compete in the super finals.

Indiana Sires Stakes action returns to Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Wednesday, July 23 with the second of five $75,000 finals for the two-year-old trotting filly division. With a daily post time of 5:15 p.m., live racing at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino will follow a Tuesday through Saturday schedule.

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